Educators
Teacher giving painting demo

School Programs

School programs at the Columbia Museum of Art are nationally recognized for their excellence in providing students of all ages state and national standards-based cross-curricular learning experiences. There are a variety of grade appropriate programs from which to choose that encourage learning through interactive activities. Programs for students in grades Pre-K through 12 can also include a meaningful, hands-on art-making experience in the studios.

  • Animal Art Safari
  • Let's Explore
  • The Language of Art
  • The Third Dimension
  • The Alchemy of Art
  • A Conversation with the Ancients
  • Picturing America
  • The Art of the Renaissance
  • Special Exhibitions

Animal Art Safari

  • Kindergarten (tour and studio)
  • Animals can be found hidden in the corners of paintings and crouching in the foreground of relief sculpture. Students will have an opportunity to discover animals in the galleries while they learn about the ways in which painters and sculptors incorporated the world into their art.
  • (Program length: 90 minutes)

Let's Explore

  • Kindergarten (tour and studio)
  • This program focuses on the five senses and encourages discovery by placing an emphasis on children, food, animals, and other themes familiar to young children.
  • (Program length: 90 minutes)

The Language of Art

  • 1st - 5th grade (tour and studio)
  • Students discover the visual language of color, line, shape, texture and space, while learning key concepts and terms such as portrait, landscape, still life and sculpture. An exploration of the materials that artists have used through the ages is followed by a hands-on project in the studios.
  • (Program length: 120 minutes)

Lesson Plans

South Carolina State Standards:

The Third Dimension

  • 1st - 5th grade (tour and studio)
  • This program focuses on three-dimensional objects, such as furniture, sculpture, ceramics and glass. Children learn about the materials used to make these objects and discuss their uses.
  • (Program length: 120 minutes)

Lesson Plans

Common Core Standards

South Carolina State Standards:

The Art of the Renaissance

  • 6th - 12th grade (tour and studio)
  • Students discuss the Italian Renaissance and its effect on Western art. The primary focus is on European paintings in the Museum's collection, but works from special exhibitions are included when appropriate.
  • (Program length: 120 minutes)

Lesson Plans

South Carolina State Standards:

Picturing America

  • 4th - 12th grade (tour and studio)
  • Great art speaks powerfully, inspires creative thinking, and connects us to our past. Designed to connect to the National Endowment for the Humanities Program, Picturing America features a gallery tour of works in the Museum's new American galleries, followed by a studio program featuring a hands-on art activity designed to reinforce the concepts learned on the tour.
  • (Program length: 120 minutes)

Lesson Plans

South Carolina State Standards:

The Alchemy of Art

  • 4th - 12th grade (tour and studio)
  • Why would a Renaissance artist have a dog's tooth and a pig's bladder in his workshop? This program will answer this and other questions as students discover the science behind the art and the evolution of an artist's palette.
  • (Program length: 120 minutes)

A Conversation with the Ancients

  • 4th - 12th grade (tour and studio)
  • Students come face to face with the famous demigod, Hercules, as he's in a fight for his life. Students "unearth" relics of the past and discover why artists were inspired by ancient civilizations.
  • (Program length: 120 minutes)

Lesson Plans ( Elementary | Upper)

South Carolina State Standards:

Special Exhibitions

  • 1st - 12th grade (tour and studio on request)
  • Students are provided with an in-depth gallery talk on a specific exhibition. Questions and group interaction are encouraged.
  • (Program length: 120 minutes)

Japan and the Jazz Age Lesson Plans ( Lower | Upper)

CMA Education Department & Common Core

It is our goal to illustrate how the dynamic tours and programming offered at Columbia Museum of Art will help you and your students actualize the skillsets which are the intended learning outcomes of the Common Core Standards.

More info about Common Core Standards

Evening for Educators

Evening for Educators at the Columbia Museum of Art provides professional development for South Carolina's teachers, school administrators, and curriculum specialists. This quarterly program is designed to give attendees tools to use in the classroom through workshops, interactive discussion panels, and studio project presentations. FREE registration includes refreshments and other educational resources. Attendees will also receive documentation for Professional Development renewal credit.

To register or for more information about Evening for Educators, email tours@columbiamuseum.org or call 803-343-2215

Teacher Workshops

Mosaic Teacher Workshop

Annual arts workshop held at at the CMA for teachers k-12. Educators choose from sessions in drama, visual arts, dance, media literacy and music.

Teacher In-service Workshops

Available year round, school districts are able to book an in-service program for teachers consisting of a gallery talk and studio class.

Scholarships

CMA Scholarships are awarded based on financial need. Scholarships are available to children ages 4 to 18 residing within the state of South Carolina. This scholarship will allow youth to attend workshops and camps at the Columbia Museum of Art.

Download the application

Teaching Kits

Our Teaching Kits reinforce the concepts and curriculum for integrated classroom learning. The kits are designed for K-12 teachers and students across the curriculum, with emphasis on social studies and visual arts. Included in the kit are images from and educational materials based on selected exhibitions.

Example Teaching Kit
  • Roberts

    Our Time, Our Place: Photographs of the Black South by Richard Samuel Roberts

    Download Teaching Kit
  • Roberts

    Alchemy of Art

    Available soon